THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET has long been identified as an all-around healthy diet with many benefits – from preventing heart disease and cancer to encouraging weight loss and improving diabetes management and gut health. In 2020, U.S. News ranked the Mediterranean diet No. 1 in four categories: Best Diets Overall, Easiest Diets to Follow, Best Diabetes Diets and Best Plant-Based Diets.
Another perk of the diet: The food is delicious, though there isn’t just one Mediterranean diet. Greeks eat differently than Italians, who eat differently from the French and Spanish. But they all share many of the same principles, with an emphasis on fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, seafood, legumes and flavorful herbs and spices.
The health editors at U.S. News teamed up with the food pros at America’s Test Kitchen to find out more by surveying more than 230 people who follow this healthy way of eating. The group included those who’ve been following a Mediterranean way of eating for over five years to others who’ve been doing it for less than six months. Most surveyed cook for just themselves and one other person – with 72% of other household members also following the Mediterranean diet.